‘Mainstream’ Response To Met Too Weak


Two articles in your Sept. 26 issue describe the organized efforts of “the right flank of the Jewish community” to stop the Metropolitan Opera presentation of the pro-terrorist opera, “The Death Of Klinghoffer” (“‘Klinghoffer’ Protest Moves Beyond Right Wing” and “Operatic Rage At Met Protest”).

In all, besides those organizations mentioned, there were about 60 groups in the Coalition To Cancel “Klinghoffer.” The so-called “mainstream leaders of the Jewish community” finally called for a meeting held two weeks ago with Met General Manager Peter Gelb, which they left with empty hands.

The Coalition held protests throughout the summer, handing out flyers and carrying signs, speaking to operagoers and encouraging subscribers to cancel their subscriptions. We read in your lead article of the “open letter to Gelb that the JCRC is asking people, synagogues, and organizations to sign.” This is an incredibly weak response to which Gelb will undoubtedly send the same form letter he has used over and over again to answer the many who have written to him over the past few months.

In addition, on opening night, Oct. 20, rather than joining in the protest planned by the “smaller right-wing Jewish groups,” the JCRC is going to show a movie “depicting the actual events surrounding the murder of Klinghoffer.” That should be of interest to the small number of moviegoers who can fit into the screening room.

The coalition’s plans for the Oct. 20 demonstration are in the works and include having 100 people in wheelchairs in the plaza outside the Met, and protest activities at each performance of the opera. We will not go away, and the “mainstream leaders” will either join with us or be left in the dust, with their donors wondering why they should continue to support so-called Jewish organizations that do not defend the Jewish people.

Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI